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El Capitan's Dawn Wall: The Beauty of the Long-Distance Climber

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Yosemite's El Capitan is breathtaking at any hour, but vertical rock formation's Dawn Wall — which faces east, and catches the morning light — is particularly beautiful as the sun rises.

The 3,000-foot ascent up the wall is considered one of the hardest climbs in the world.

Tommy Caldwell, 36, of Estes Park, Colorado, and Kevin Jorgeson, 30, of Santa Rosa, California, are hoping to complete a historic free climb of the sheer granite Dawn Wall as early as this week.

The journey is built on a foundation of perseverance, determination and courage: it took Jorgeson seven days to complete Pitch 15, considered one of the hardest and most technical pitches, or vertical segments, of the ascent.

"It took everything in my power to stay positive and resolved that I would succeed," he wrote Sunday on Facebook. "Now that momentum has returned to my side, I'm staying just as focused and resolved because a lot of hard climbing remains."

Jorgeson and Caldwell plan to finish the ascent together. It could take several more days for both to reach the top of El Capitan.

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